REVIEW: MINDHUNTER – Season Two (2019)

The following is a review of the second season of Mindhunter — Created by Joe Penhall.

In my first season review of Netflix’s MINDHUNTER, I wrote that it is like catnip for true crime aficionados. I stand by that, but it really hurts being without that catnip for two years. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve rewatched the first season of the show, so when it became clear that it was finally making its anticipated return I was excited, and before I published this review I made sure to watch the entire season twice. Rest assured, the second season of MINDHUNTER proves that the wait has been worth it. The excellent true-crime series about methodology and research is back, and this time around they get to interview exactly who they want. Continue reading “REVIEW: MINDHUNTER – Season Two (2019)”

REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things — Created by the Duffer Brothers.

Today, Stranger Things is, alongside The Crown, probably the original show that has become the face of Netflix. The first season of the series was a surprise hit that seemed to have significantly overperformed. It was a nostalgic 80s science-fiction drama with children in the leading roles that made people think of E. T., The Goonies, and many other films like those. It was a 2016 breakout hit that gave career boosts to David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Finn Wolfhard. The much anticipated second season, which was released the following year, wasn’t met with as much acclaim, but still succeeded in developing characters’ relationships satisfyingly while still bringing pleasant references to the beloved 1980s-era cinema, with Aliens now being the primary inspiration. Continue reading “REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)”

REVIEW: When They See Us (2019 – Mini-Series)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a series review of When They See Us — Created by Ava DuVernay.

Before I saw Ava DuVernay’s incredibly important and overwhelmingly powerful mini-series When They See Us, I never knew anything about the Central Park jogger case or the so-called Central Park Five. At the end of the series, I felt out of breath. I needed some air. DuVernay’s series is another excellent 2019 limited series true story that is so very bleak and absolutely infuriating, but it is also just as gripping as it is tough to watch. Continue reading “REVIEW: When They See Us (2019 – Mini-Series)”

REVIEW: The Wandering Earth (2019)

Chinese Theatrical Release Poster – China Film Group Corporation

The following is a review of The Wandering Earth — Directed by Frant Gwo. Available on Netflix now.

This 2019 release is a two-hour long blockbuster film that has made close to $700 million globally at the box office. There are no superheroes in the film, it isn’t based on Marvel or DC, and it doesn’t belong to a vastly popular science-fiction or fantasy franchise. On top of that, this isn’t an English-language film. In fact, it wasn’t released widely in theaters in Europe or North America.

This is The Wandering Earth, a relentless Chinese blockbuster film that proves that glorious spectacle created outside of North America can rival the best Hollywood has to offer in disaster film — at least when it comes to incredible and unfathomably spectacular action. I’ve got plenty of issues with The Wandering Earth, but the one thing that really impressed me was the science-fiction visuals because, normally, you don’t get these astoundingly well-designed visuals without the direct influence of a major American studio. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Wandering Earth (2019)”

REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile — Directed by Joe Berlinger.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile comes from Joe Berlinger, the director of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and is based on Elizabeth Kloepfer’s book The Phantom Prince about her relationship with the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Lily Collins stars as Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Kendall, a single mother who has met the perfect guy. He has a nice Volkswagen, he’s nice to her and her kid, and he is fairly attractive.

Zac Efron plays this man who seems to be too good to be true. That’s because he is. Because Efron is Ted Bundy, the man who we know as one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. As authorities catch up to Bundy, Liz becomes caught in a whirlwind with no sense of up or down. Liz doesn’t know if she is being played, or if the system is putting her new man behind bars unjustly. Continue reading “REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)”

REVIEW: The Silence (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Silence — Directed by John R. Leonetti.

John R. Leonetti’s The Silence — not to be confused with Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which has a similar title, or John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and Susanne Bier’s Bird Box, both of which have similar plots — follows a family during an apocalyptic event in which prehistoric bat-like creatures have come out of hiding to attack and feast on anything and anyone they hear. Stanley Tucci plays the family father, Miranda Otto his wife, and Kiernan Shipka plays one of his children — a deaf teenager. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Silence (2019)”

REVIEW: Unicorn Store (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Unicorn Store — Directed by Brie Larson.

Unicorn Store — Brie Larson’s directorial debut — had its original world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in 2017, but Larson had to wait until after she had become the titular hero of a superhero franchise before her directorial debut was distributed widely, now in April 2019. You can call it timing — good or otherwise — but, in any case, Brie Larson, an Oscar-winner and popular superhero actress, is now almost a household name. Unfortunately, I don’t think her debut feature, Unicorn Store, was worth the wait.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Unicorn Store (2019)”